THE KRIEGER LIST: I ON THE ARTS' TOP 2021

Hello readers! 

2021, am I right?

(Looking back at my 2020 post, I realize I literally made this exact same joke. Seems appropriate this year as well.) As always, you can check out previous years here: 2020 / 2019 / 2018 / 2017 / 2016 / 2015 best/worst.

Some life updates:

  • I graduated from my Master's Degree program at Brown and got a job at the Museum of Work & Culture, where I work on the museum's temporary exhibitions and accompanying programs. I also curated two exhibitions in the spring of 2021 and another one in fall 2021, with more on the horizon! So while I didn't do a lot of writing for publications, I did a lot of writing for exhibitions. 
  • So... I'm going to be based in Rhode Island for a while! I'm always looking for cool new art galleries and spaces to write about, so if you have any tips...
  • I also spent much of summer 2021 conducting research for, and writing, a historical essay in the catalogue for the upcoming exhibition Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Venice Collection, Thaddeus Mumford, Jr. at the Orlando Museum of Art!

Back to the preamble to the list...

In 2021, sometimes I went to the movies. Often I didn't. I mostly watched television on various streaming services and read a lot of articles online. If it's on these lists, it means I enjoyed it and consumed it for the first time in the year 2021, even if said book/movie/show wasn't actually from 2021. It may have comforted me amidst terrifying news cycles, or wowed me with some deep profundities. Essentially, this media was how I occupied my mind and soothed my soul for much of 2021 (with the exception of re-watching New Girl on Netflix for the 8,000th time). The entries in each category, unless otherwise indicated, will be presented in alphabetical order (as opposed to ranking).

Movies:

  • Dune (directed by Denis Villeneuve, 2021)
  • The French Dispatch (directed by Wes Anderson, 2021)
  • Los Angeles Plays Itself (directed by Thom Andersen, 2004)
  • No Sudden Move (directed by Stephen Soderbergh, 2021)
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield (directed by Armando Iannucci, 2019)
  • West Side Story (directed by Stephen Spielberg, 2021)

Television:

  • Hacks (HBO Max, 2021)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion (Netflix dub, 2018; originally produced 1995)
  • The O.C., season 1 (Fox, 2003)
  • Odd Taxi (Crunchyroll, 2021)
  • School of Chocolate (Netflix, 2021)
  • Sex Education, season 3 (Netflix, 2021)
  • Succession, season 3 (HBO, 2021)
  • Watchmen (HBO, 2019)
  • You, season 3 (Netflix, 2021)
Books:

  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, Richard Rothstein, 2017
  • Harrow the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir, 2020
  • The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World, Vincent Bevins, 2020
  • The Kennedy Imprisonment: A Mediation on Power, Gary Wills, 1982
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander, 2010
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Old Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg, 2016
Art/Museum Experiences:
  • Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut
  • "Critical Cartography: Larissa Fassler in Manchester," Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire
Music:
  • Aly & AJ, "On the Ride," 2005
  • Bruce Springsteen: "Frankie," "Janey Don't You Lose Heart" (released on disc 3 of Tracks, 1998)
  • Halsey, If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power, 2021
  • No-No Boy, "The Best God Damn Band in Wyoming," 2021
  • Olivia Rodrigo: "brutal," "good 4 u" (both 2021)
  • Taylor Swift: "The Other Side of the Door (Taylor's Version) (From the Vault)," "Hey Stephen (Taylor's Version)," "The Way I Loved You (Taylor's Version)," "State of Grace (Taylor's Version)," "Treacherous (Taylor's Version)," "Holy Ground (Taylor's Version)," "The Lucky One (Taylor's Version)" (all released 2021)
  • Twin Shadow, "Saturdays (featuring HAIM)," 2018
  • T-Pain: "Church," 2007

Performances:

  • Casey Mongillo, Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Dev Patel, The Personal History of David Copperfield
  • Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown (HBO)
  • Florence Pugh, Black Widow (2021)
  • Jean Smart, Hacks
  • Jeffrey Wright, The French Dispatch
  • Matthew MacFadyen, Succession
  • Mike Faist, West Side Story
  • Nahéma Ricci, Antigone (2019) (technically viewed in 2020, but written about in 2021)
  • River Phoenix, Stand By Me (1986) (yes, I watched it for the first time this year.)
  • Tony Leung, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Longform Articles, in chronological order:

I On the Arts' Published Writing of 2021, in chronological order:

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